Seattle Kraken, Colorado Avalanche

Kraken AM Skate; Reducing Mistakes, Baby On Board

Kraken forward Morgan Geekie stayed out for an extended period at the end of morning skate firing pucks along with winger Daniel Sprong. Often time when players stay on the ice for extra work it means they’re healthy or unhealthy scratches, but in Geekie’s case, it’s standard operating procedure.

Monday morning also meant just getting his feel back a little bit in anticipation for the excitement of Game-4 at Climate Pledge Arena. The Colorado Avalanche took a 2-1 lead in the series by virtue of their 6-4 victory on Saturday night, a game Geekie had to miss due to the birth of his daughter Gabby.

Mom and baby are doing well, the child was born at 6:58 pm, just two minutes before the listed start time of Game-3. Dad said after the initial baby excitement and knowing that all was well, family and friends did have an opportunity to follow the Kraken’s progress. He’s anxious to experience that Seattle playoff environment on Monday night.

“Honestly, I was in an awesome position where I was (with the new baby), but I was definitely super jealous (of the guys),” Geekie said. “I knew it was gonna be crazy out there, so yeah, I’m super excited. I think that’s probably what I’m most excited for, us to see the fans and how loud it’s going to be and the atmosphere in there. So we know they brought it all year this year and last year even when we didn’t have the success we have this year, so I’m super excited to see see what it’s like.”

Kraken Corrections

Geekie offered up similar analysis of Game-3 and the series thus far to that of his head coach Dave Hakstol. They’re well aware of what corrections need to be made.

The Kraken have scored the opening goal in all three games of the series.

“I think we’ve been playing fast,” Geekie stated, “and I think we’ve been coming out of the gates pretty well. I think we need to kind of keep our foot on the gas and maybe limit some mistakes, just from the first two games and what I saw of game three, I think there were some times where we just have a few lapses that I think are easy to be cleaned up.”

Hakstol pointed out that two of the mistakes led to successful Avalanche breakaways. The Game-3 score went from 1-0 Seattle to a 2-1 deficit and for awhile the momentum went along with it.

“The goals that we gave up the other night weren’t out of aggressiveness,” Hakstol said. “We made mistakes, we made errors and they took advantage of that. I talked about it after the game, they’ve got some world class guys over there. They’re going to generate on their own, let alone if you give them opportunities that they don’t have to work for as hard as maybe they should.”

Morgan Geekie and Daniel Sprong finishing extra work at morning skate for Game-4.
Kraken Face-offs

Following up concerns about losing key face-offs in this series, Kraken center Yanni Gourde addressed the topic on Monday morning after the skate. Face-off wins are often a team effort. If the center can tie up his opponent, it’s up to the wingers to step in and help win possession.

“Yeah, as much as possible we try to create a 50-50 as centermen and try to win that battle as a unit of five,” Gourde said. “But unfortunately we’ve not been great in that aspect and we’ve got to find a way to win more.”

On Sunday Hakstol mentioned ‘cheating’ in the circle as well as the Avalanche have been, likely in reference to the positioning they’re getting away with just prior to the drops. Gourde and other Kraken centers have been victimized by losing clean draws.

Needless to say, it’s tough to score or to stop the opposition from doing so without puck possession, and it all begins at the face-off dots.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.